The cost-of-living crisis is damaging the capital’s ability to prevent climate change, even though Londoners are eager to take action: London Councils poll reveals

Three-quarters of Londoners (75%) say the cost-of-living crisis has made it more difficult for them to take action to help prevent climate change, new polling commissioned by London Councils reveals.  

In the third year of research polling by London Councils to gauge Londoners’ understanding of climate change and the effect it has on their lives, results showed the vast majority of Londoners (84%) are concerned about climate change. In addition to this, people are also becoming more worried about climate change with 72% of Londoners saying their level of concern has increased over the past 12 months. 

However, those surveyed believe the cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on their ability to take action to prevent climate change. 40% of Londoners think the cost-of-living crisis has definitely made it more difficult for them to take action to help prevent climate change, with 36% saying it has made it slightly more difficult. Positively however, 57% of Londoners say the cost-of-living crisis motivates them to do more on climate change if it also helps to reduce their costs.  

The vast majority of Londoners (89%) surveyed are motivated to help prevent climate change. This is important as collaborative efforts across organisations, sectors and in individuals’ lives and homes are vital to safeguarding London’s environmental future.  

The polling showed that expense is a current barrier which prohibits Londoners from choosing greener energy or heating options.  Nearly half (41%) said it was too expensive to pay more for a greener heating option, with 33% of people saying it was too expensive to replace gas heating with a lower carbon option, such as heat pump or electric storage heaters and 37% saying it was too expensive to install solar panels at home 

London boroughs are committed to tackling the climate emergency alongside all of London’s diverse communities. 32 London boroughs have now committed to Net Zero targets before 2050, and the majority of boroughs have published final or draft Climate Action Plans setting out how they will meet those ambitions. Boroughs are also working together across seven collaborative climate programmes facilitated by London Councils, from retrofitting London’s homes, to securing renewable power and creating a green and resilient city – to share best practice, join up activity and grasp economies of scale. 

London boroughs continue to champion collaborative efforts to create new funding sources for Net Zero programmes at a community level. In addition, London Councils is working alongside Core Cities and Connected Places Catapult to attract large scale capital investment to support substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions and engage urban areas across the UK to accelerate common, investible solutions to the climate crisis. 

Mayor Philip Glanville, London Councils’ Climate Change, Transport and Environment Lead, said: 

“As we enter the week of COP27, a year on from Glasgow, it is incredibly encouraging to see that across London’s communities, the motivation to take action to address the climate emergency remains undimmed. This year’s polling clearly shows that Londoners continue to recognise that we must take action now, as individuals and on a collective level, to reduce our carbon emissions and adapt to the changing climate.   

“Our research shows that people want to take action to tackle climate change, but see cost as a key barrier, especially in the context of the cost-of-living crisis. We know that investment in climate action helps drive down people’s bills, improves the country’s energy security and climate resilience, and benefits the growth of the economy through green businesses and jobs. We will continue to support people who wish to make greener choices as best we can, but it’s crucial that central government delivers on the promises made at COP 26 and helps us meet our ambitions. 

“London boroughs are leading the way in ensuring climate action is taking place with and in our diverse local
communities, helping to bring about a greener, cleaner, healthier London from the ground up. We
cannot afford to leave anyone behind as we transition to this new green future.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1) For full information on this year's climate polling results, please visit the London Councils website

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